Let’s talk about your new album “The Rise and Fall of Babylon“. Is there a link/something that connects all the lyrics of the album?
Chris Toeller (drums): In general, I think there is a theme of coming together to create change in our world and fighting for the freedom of all people. Not every song on the record ties into this theme, but I would say that it finds it way into the messages being delivered in most of the songs.
Gui Bodi (bass): The album doesn’t have one specific theme, we talk about things related to us, personal and mutual life experiences, world views and other subjects pertinent to us.
Eric Knight (vocals): There is a thread in certain lyrics to some of the songs on the record that tie into the title of the record but not in all of them. The overall theme within the title of the record is about our country here in the United States the modern day Babylon that is under siege. There is a great divide, one like has never been seen before. Our freedoms and the foundations on what this country was based on is being challenged. Some of the lyrics on the record talk about standing together and fighting for freedom and being united as one voice for the voiceless. The others are from my personal experiences
Are you ever scared of revealing, aspects of your personal experience, to strangers through your music?
Chris Toeller (drums): I think that Eric has come a long way in his own life and is now ready to share his thoughts and experiences openly through his lyrics in a way that almost anyone can relate to in some way. We all go through our ups and downs, so I think there is a message for everyone who takes the time to explore his ideas.
Gui Bodi (bass): Quite the opposite, I feel like being personal is what connects us with our listeners, we can relate to other people’s experiences and that’s what music is all about. Just that is enough to not be scared or ashamed, we all go through the same things in life, more or less and sooner or later!
Eric Knight (vocals): No I don’t think so, I think quite the opposite. I feel it’s liberating and cathartic to be able to express yourself through music and lyrics. Your trying to tell a story maybe your story and most likely, invariably it will connect with someone that can relate to that very song. That’s why I feel music is the most powerful medium on the planet. It connects us all.
What has your journey in the music industry been like up to now?
Chris Toeller (drums): Well, there has certainly been a lot of attempts at finding the right group of people to create great music with that resonates with a large audience. It is so rare to find talented musicians that can really complement each other on a creative level, but also connect with each other on a deep personal level in order to overcome the trials of growing a project from the ground up. Everyone has to be ‘All-in’ and sometimes that requires a lot of sacrifice in other areas of life. Aside from all of that, there has been a lot of practice and honing of my own musical skills. I think everyone in the group would say the same for themselves.
Gui Bodi (bass): It’s been a lot of work! It isn’t easy to life off of music, but there are so many moments that make the struggle worth it, specially when you’re onstage sharing your music with other people, there’s nothing quite like that in the world.
Eric Knight (vocals): Well it’s been like most stories that you hear about. It’s been a long hard struggle, nothing is ever easy and the music industry is certainly been one that’s been challenging to say the least. But I feel if you put in the hard work, write great songs and are committed to your art, people will find out about you. Your running a marathon, not a race.
What was the soundtrack to your childhood?
Chris Toeller (drums): When I was younger, I grew up listening to bands like Taking Back Sunday, Thrice, and Underoath. Kind of the Emo/Screamo scene. I still really enjoy listening to those bands but, in general, moved away from that genre of music as time went by.
Ramon Blanco (guitar): I grew up listening to my dad’s records, I went from Led Zeppelin and The Police to the Rolling Stones.
Gui Bodi (bass): There was always some Brazilian music going on in my house, Bossa Nova and something we call “MPB” in Brazil (Popular Brazilian Music), which is kind of a mix of every Brazilian genre (Bossa Nova, Samba, Choro, Baião, Forró etc) with other influences like Jazz or Rock. During my teenage year though, I listened to Rock exclusively, like AC/DC, Metallica, Nirvana, U2, The Beatles, Deep Purple, Guns & Roses, The Offspring, Green Day etc.
Eric Knight (vocals): Everything and anything. I thankfully came from a family that had very eclectic and varying taste in music. I think that helped me tremendously with being open to different styles. My minds eye to music was definitely opened in those early years for sure.
What was the first record you ever bought?
Chris Toeller (drums): Pretty sure it was the Backstreet Boys debut. Ya..
Ramon Blanco (guitar):AC/DC Back in Black
Gui Bodi (bass): My first vinyl was an Elvis Presley one, but I don’t remember which one, but my first 3 CDs (I bought them all at once) were Dookie by Green Day, Ixnay on the Hombre by The Offspring and Appetite for Destruction by Guns & Roses.
Eric Knight (vocals): Menudo’s Greatest Hits 😉
What is your favorite song (not written by you) lyrically speaking?
Ramon Blanco (guitar): Queen “Who Wants to Live Forever”
Gui Bodi (bass): Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles, the way they painted loneliness in those lyrics, solitude and desolation, every time I listen to it I can feel it all.
Eric Knight (vocals): ‘A Day In The Life’ by The Beatles. It starts simple enough and just takes you into this huge tapestry of sounds it’s a masterpiece. Lyrically, I like that the song was inspired by various stories that were about current events that John was reading at the time among other abstract thoughts.
What inspired “Idiosyncrasies” ?
Gui Bodi (bass): I think every relationship goes through a phase of one person driving each other crazy, the secret to staying together is to understand that and overcome that fase, compromise a little bit and come out better in the end, that’s my take on that song.
Eric Knight (vocals): It was my craziness. Everyone has their quirks and only things they know about themselves, hence the title ‘Idiosyncrasies’. It was all my personalities explored. It was actually the last song I wrote lyrics for while we were literally in the studio recording the record. Ramon’s guitar work on this song was just outstanding. It’s one of my favorite tracks on this record.
And “Simple Life”?
Gui Bodi (bass): This is the “cleanse, clean up and live a better life” recipe song! Lol get rid of everything that’s not beneficial to you, material things, relationships, bad habits and fears that impede us to move forward towards our goals in life. That’s what I get from this song.
Eric Knight (vocals): This one came from a bit of personal experience and then just weaving it into a story about someone who is just letting go of all of their worldly possessions as well as their mental.
Do you remember the day you wrote “Without You”?
Chris Toeller (drums): This may have been the first song, or one of the first, I played a role in developing with the Disciples. I remember rehearsing at Cascade Studios in Hollywood and arranging the sections of the song and the drum parts on the fly. I think a lot of the melody was also written by Eric on the spot.
Ramon Blanco (guitar): Eric and I were at my place and I presented him the main riff and we started to work from there.
Gui Bodi (bass): Nope, I was too drunk.
Eric Knight (vocals): This one started like most of our ideas, Ramon and I were just in a room and he presented me with the initial riff and we started working and developing it from there. This one took a little while to come together and I believe it was when we were all working on the song to have it done before one of our shows to perform live for the first time was when everyone came in and we were arranging it together is when it really started taking shape. It was exciting to see and hear everyone involved and putting in their parts to what eventually became a great song for us.
What is the best show you ever played?
Chris Toeller (drums): I don’t really have a specific “best show”. An easier question to answer might be which one was the worst show! But the ones that really stand out are the ones where I can tell as we’re playing that the audience is really in it with us. You can just sense the connection when it’s there. The feeling is unmatched.
Gui Bodi (bass): The release show of our album “The Rise and Fall of Babylon”, October 2017 at the Viper Room, that was a heck of a show! We were tight as a band, there was a good crowd in the Venue, lots of friends and fans, it was a blast. We have a few videos of that live performance we are slowly putting up online, check out our social media, website and YouTube channel to stay up to date with our most recent content and videos!
Eric Knight (vocals): I think it’s always the last one we played. Our shows keep getting better and better and we keep reaching these new peaks. I am so blessed and honored to be playing with these guys. They are not only amazingly talented musicians but they are great human beings. I don’t take anything for granted, this is truly special.
What are your plans for 2018?
Chris Toeller (drums): Keep hustling, play more shows, put out a couple music videos for this record, and get working on the next one!
Ramon Blanco (guitar):Play as much as possible and share our music with the world.
Gui Bodi (bass): We Are currently working on more band content, like music videos for a few of our singles, as well as coordinating more shows and eventually a tour. All of it that is time consuming, but be ready for more DOB news in the near future!
Eric Knight (vocals): Tour, tour and more tour. The Disciples are coming!